Looking Back on the Vietnam War
History and forgetting
This article first appeared in FE #320, Spring 1985 under the pen-name George Bradford. It is reprinted on the 20th anniversary of the defeat of the U.S. empire in Vietnam.
by Richard Drinnon
Another decade has passed and it is Spring 1995, twenty years since the “fall of Saigon to the Vietnamese,” in David Watson’s mordant words, and the man who gave his name to that war has just published In Retrospect, a memoir from which he broadcasts what everyone by now has heard: “we were wrong, terribly wrong.” Now the ur-Whiz Kid tells us that he had become a covert convert to the antiwar movement even by 1967, the year twenty thousand resisters tried to shut down his Department of Defense. If only the erstwhile carpet bomber had then come outside to join the fair number of us who had slipped by the soldiers and the marshals to piss on the Pentagon, what a triumphant relief that would have been, what an epiphany! Yet after twenty-eight years we can still say that Robert S. McNamara’s tardy outing is better late than never, no?
Feb 6, 2015
The Metaphysics of Dancing Tribes
Chief Luther Standing Bear wrote in his autobiography, “The white man does not understand the Indian for the reason that he does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative processes. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and soil...But in the Indian the spirit of the land is still vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and reborn to belong...”
Feb 11, 2018